New Asian Currents
• October 11–15 [Venues] F3 F5 Forum 3, 5
We give you this year’s New Asian Currents program—twenty-one gems in the rough that boldly carve out new ways of expression, in addition to two Special Invitation Films, inviting you to worlds captured and imagined by the filmmakers.
New Asian Currents Special Invitation Films
- Anatolian Trip
- TURKEY / 2018 / 114 min
Directors: Deniz Tortum, Can Eskinazi
The year is 2014, just before the presidential election, and a young jam band embarks on a road trip, leaving Istanbul to tour around Anatolia—travelling in the improvisatory spirit of their music, rolling from one local encounter to the next.
- And What Is the Summer Saying
- INDIA / 2018 / 23 min
Director: Payal Kapadia
A man enters the forest to collect some honey. The wind whispers through the trees, swaying the hammocks in the village. Listen closely and you will hear the women’s hearts murmur about lost love.
- That Cloud Never Left
- INDIA / 2019 / 65 min
Director: Yashaswini Raghunandan
A story about a village not very far away—children search for a red ruby, and toys are made out of filmstrips. Out of a phantasmagoria of village, children and stars, a film soon emerges.
- The Ashes and Ghosts of Tayug 1931
- THE PHILIPPINES / 2017 / 115 min
Directors: Christopher Gozum
Pedro Calosa led an agrarian uprising as a young man. Speaking through a cross section of silent film, fiction and documentary, this film brings forth the spiritual journey of Calosa, a forgotten hero.
- At Home Walking
- INDIA / 2019 / 114 min
Director: Rajula Shah
Poetic monologues and the music of wandering bards accompany the pilgrims and nomads of modern-day India. This experimental work challenges us to visualize a journey of the soul, with walking as a meditative act.
- Erased,___Ascent of the Invisible
- LEBANON / 2018 / 76 min
Director: Ghassan Halwani
The lingering image of a man kidnapped 35 years ago. The film hunts down and carves into the present the absence of countless existences that were vanished without a trace, written off as anonymous deaths after the civil war.
- IRAN / 2019 / 80 min
Director: Bahman Kiarostami
Migrant workers from Afghanistan who entered the country illegally now wish to go back home, and they make their case at the government center near the border. The stories of people with different family and work circumstances are interwoven in this Exodus—from Iran—with a reggae lilt.
- A Feeling Greater Than Love
- LEBANON / 2017 / 93 min
Director: Mary Jirmanus Saba
The labor and political movement led by factory workers in 1970s Lebanon has been overshadowed by the region’s history. Through testimonials of those enactors of social change and a variety of footage from the era that encompasses both fiction and documentary, the film reclaims and breathes new life into the people’s revolution.
- In Thy Kingdom by the Sea
- POLAND, JAPAN / 2018 / 23 min
Director: Keino Yutaro
To the port by train, plane, and car. Sketches of the diverse lives of those tied to the sea: fishermen, sailors, men of different countries here for work, men from the Navy, and students . . . .
- IRAN / 2019 / 64 min
Director: Arash Eshaghi
An 80-year-old man, known in his youth for having danced at local ceremonies and celebrations dressed as a woman. Dancing publicly is banned after the revolution and he lives now as a farmer, taking care of cows. This film captures one man’s continued pursuit of happiness through dancing.
- Invisible Actors
- KOREA / 2018 / 122 min
Director: Chae Hyeong-sik
Four actors rehearse playing zombies for a film audition. Encompasses documentary theatre, the actors’ discussion process and their everyday lives—all at the same time they attempt to make a film with the director.
- No Data Plan
- THE PHILIPPINES, USA / 2018 / 70 min
Director: Miko Revereza
“Mama has two phone numbers.” A journey of film in the space it takes a train to leave Los Angeles and head to New York. The latest work from the director of Droga! and Disintegration 93–96 (YIDFF 2017).
- TAIWAN / 2017 / 25 min
Director: Hsu Hui-ju
In the ruins of an abandoned factory, three temporary workers—a young man, an older man and an older woman—behave like a choreographed family, as they clean up, construct a table, and eat together. The latest film from the director of Hard Good Life (YIDFF 2003).
- JAPAN, MEXICO / 2019 / 75 min
Director: Oda Kaori
Cenotes—sources of water that in ancient Mayan civilization were said to connect the real world and the afterlife. The past and present of the people living in and around them intersect, and distant memories echo throughout immersive scenes of light and darkness. The latest film from the director of Aragane (YIDFF 2015).
- This Is My Home, Come the Sleeping
- INDONESIA / 2019 / 81 min
Director: Halaman Papua
A man works out every day what numbers to bet on the lottery. In the midst of his seemingly peaceful life, Papua’s history and memories of the tragedy that plagued his home village linger hazily on.
- Through the Border
- SINGAPORE / 2018 / 29 min
Director: Teo Qi Yu
After his cancer diagnosis, an old man is given six months to live. His granddaughter’s camera gently captures his sense of belonging in China—the place he left behind but never forgot—and the story of his family in Singapore.
- Beyond the Salween River
- BURMA, VIETNAM, THAILAND / 2019 / 65 min
Director: Gigi Berardi
Forging paths in areas of the country where there were none before, a locally-led team provides healthcare to ethnic minority groups without access to medical care who have been isolated by the country’s long political conflict. With their newfound medical knowledge, some newly-trained young villagers will soon depart on a journey of their own.
- The Wandering Rock
- CHINA / 2019 / 93 min
Director: Cui Zhaosong
Gunmaker, an indie rock singer, whose musical partner died a year ago. He throws his whole being into touring, howling for freedom in a contemporary society rife with contradictions—all the while under surveillance by the authorities.
- Winter in Seoul
- KOREA / 2018 / 25 min
Director: Sohn Koo-yong
A young man writes in a motel room at night, while people go about their business outside in the cold winter streets of Seoul, anonymously crossing paths. A venture to visually interpret the sense of the words of the short story “Seoul—1964—Winter,” through an experiment in the five senses.
- TAIWAN / 2018 / 54 min
Director: So Yo Hen
One by one, Indonesian laborers flee to a hut somewhere in Taiwan and begin talking about what has happened to them. Their voices crowd the hut, until an explosion seems imminent . . . .
- CANADA / 2018 / 100 min
Directors: Sami Mermer, Hind Benchekroun
The men of the director’s hometown, a Kurdish village called Xalko, are off making a living in Europe. Within the daily lives of the women left back home, as they chat and their hands work busily, brim the joys and anger, grief and laughter of one large “family.”
New Asian Currents Special Invitation Films
- Self-Portrait: Sphinx in 47 KM
- CHINA / 2017 / 94 min
Director: Zhang Mengqi
An old woman speaking falteringly about the sadness of her life; a young girl drawing pictures—a touching portrayal of the intimate flow of time in a quiet village. This was made prior to Self-Portrait: Window in 47 KM (YIDFF2019 International Competition), also set in the same village.
- Boys for Beauty
- TAIWAN / 1998 / 63 min
Director: Mickey Chen
Full of laughter and sadness, this film depicts the societal interaction and inner struggles of gay teenagers in Taiwan. In memory of director Mickey Chen, who last came to Yamagata in 2011 as a New Asian Currents juror.